FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The agent for Bart Scott blasted the NFL for the $20,000 fine it slapped on the linebacker for playing with an unsnapped chin strap during the New York Jets' game in Detroit on Sunday.
"It's absurd, it's ridiculous and it's a joke," agent Harold Lewis said on Friday afternoon. "But I guess when you're judge, jury and executioner, you can do whatever you want."
A league spokesperson said Scott was fined for playing with his chin strap open for a significant portion of the Jets' 23-20 overtime win over the Lions.
Rule 5, Section 4, Article 3 (a) of the league's rule book states that a player's mandatory equipment includes a "helmet with chin strap (white only) fastened with face mask attached." The chin strap must remain attached to the helmet during game play, according to the rule book.
Scott violated the rule for the third time on Sunday. It's unclear if Scott was fined for the first two violations. His helmet has come off during play on multiple occasions in his Jets tenure.
Lewis said that Scott has filed an appeal of the fine. The hearing for the appeal hasn't been scheduled.
"It's just common sense," Lewis said. "If someone does an illegal hit, it's horrible and they should be fined. But this is a chin strap; it has nothing to do with safety."
The league argues differently, saying the chin strap rule is in place to make sure that helmets remain on, thereby protecting players' heads during collisions.
Lewis believes the league is "abusing power" by fining Scott what he called "an excessive" amount for a rule that he characterized as superfluous.
"It's like saying 'We're fining you because your hair is sticking out of your helmet,'" Lewis said.
He also questioned the league's fining process.
"We're just giving them so much power," Lewis said. "This is crazy and it's getting out of control."
Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.